Mental Health

Birthday Reflections – time to reflect. I’m turning 23 | my hopes, dreams and fears

I honestly can’t believe it’s my birthday next month. I swear I just turned 22. Of course, this year hasn’t gone to plan, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not had some amazing moments throughout the bad.

 I am extremely grateful.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on my life. Time is whizzing by and my birthday is just around the corner. So why not create a birthday reflections post!

In this birthday reflections post I thought I would touch on a few things:

  • Reflecting over the last almost 23 years of my life and what I have learned.
  • What I’ve done over the last year.
  • My goals for next year.

I am excited to say goodbye to this year and have a fresh beginning.

7 things I’ve learned this year

Birthday reflections including what I have learned over the last year.
7 things I’ve learned this year

Letting go is okay

Over the last year, I’ve had to cut out toxic energies in my life. Both friends and family. At the time it was extremely difficult to make the decision, but I knew that it was the right one.

Within no time at all, my life had changed because of it.

Which helps, as I know I definitely done the right thing.

Learning to let go of people’s negative energy, even though you’ve known them for a long period of time is SO important. I would cling onto friendships because I was:

A. Scared to have no friends, and at the time I would rather have some not so great friends than none at all.

B. Scared to speak up about it as I thought it would make the situation worse.

Speak up. Express your feelings – if someone is bringing you down constantly then it’s important to approach them and explain that their actions are not what you need in your life.

Learning about money

A turning point for me this year was learning about money. Now I know you’re thinking… aren’t you 22 years old? Yes, I am! and I had no clue what I was doing.

I have been working since I was 16, living paycheque to paycheque, never really saving anything.

This year, I decided I wanted to live my life differently. I started saving, budgeting and keeping track of my spending.

I’m extremely proud of myself as this was my first go at it! I’ve saved enough that I get to finish my job in March and travel the world! Learn about money, look at saving accounts. It’s not taught in school but it’s super important and should be.

Self Love and Confidence

My confidence over the last few years was shattered. Due to friendships and break-ups. This year I took control back of myself and learned to love me.

This is one of the main things I wanted to touch on when doing my birthday reflections.

There are things that I would like to change about myself in all aspects – but I have learned to love the things I cannot change – and the weight that has lifted… WOW. Accepting yourself is the most powerful thing, you can’t be perfect and that’s okay.

My confidence grew when I started blogging and taking Instagram a little bit more seriously. I have wanted to blog and “influence” for years, but I was so put off in case I was made fun of or people didn’t like me etc.

I was so wrong.

The opportunities and people that have come into my life since accepting myself has been life-changing.

A picture of me feeling more confident.
Just a picture of me living my best life

Getting over fears and living

As you’ve previously gathered, I lived my life in fear or other people. Also of my own head. It’s no secret that I suffer from anxiety. At the end of last year, it was interfering with too much. My job, friends, social life and just generally leaving the house.

I decided to finally accept the fact that I needed some help. I reached out to a mental health group and have been receiving counselling for the last few months.

I’ve gone from feeling anxious every single day and having to take CBD oil to try and help with it to now, I currently do not take anything for my anxiety and I also have not felt anxious in weeks!!

CBT counselling is amazing! It’s different for everyone, but my personal experience is that it’s helped me gain my life back. So much so, I’m about to sign off and finish up in the next few weeks.

Acceptance and Forgiveness

I got myself into a bad habit of – when someone does something wrong – that’s it. No going back. I was scared that they would continue to hurt me, so why not cut it off at the source.

I’ve learned to accept other people’s faults as I have also accepted my own. Along with forgiving people for silly mistakes in the past and mending friendships. It can be difficult to look past an event or situation that wasn’t an enjoyable experience, but it’s worth it in the end.

Learning to accept other people helped me accept myself.

Life isn’t fair

Now I know, this doesn’t sound the best. BUT, I swear it’s a great way of thinking. Now I’m not being cynical – but this thought process has really helped me.

Let me give an example.

Previously, I would believe that I had to be on time, every single time. If I wasn’t, it made me mad, upset and anxious. Crazy right?

But things happen. Traffic is worse on some days or the bus is late. Things happen and it’s not fair. BUT sadly that is the way it is.

Accepting that I don’t have control over everything in my life and that things are going to happen that are just a bit rubbish has made me happier.

I read a book called “The Chimp Paradox” which is eyeopening! I would recommend you read it if you’re struggling as well. Steve Peters goes into great detail about life not being fair and accepting the harsh truth.

Manifesting

This has only come into my life over the last two months but I had to include it as it’s played such a large part in my success.

I’ll try to briefly explain what manifesting means (to me)

Manifesting is the law of attraction. If you are sending out “good vibes” then this is what you’ll receive back. This also works in reverse, if you’re constantly thinking about negative things, you’ll attract negative vibes.

I only started to change my thought process and WOW what a difference. I was constantly thinking “I’m not good enough for blogging, I won’t make it” and putting out those thoughts all the time, just brought me down.

Since I started manifesting good vibes, my work life has improved, my blogging, Social media – it’s been a crazy couple of months!

What’s happened over the last year – Birthday reflections and looking back

I’ve made some pretty big life changes over the last year – most of which have been positive. I thought I would share my journey and include this in my birthday reflections.

A timeline of my year so far.
A timeline of my year so far!

Starting my new job and redundancy

I was very unhappy with my previous job. I LOVED the work that I was doing, it was the people that were not making it an enjoyable experience. After working there for two years, I was petrified to leave in case it was a mistake.

After not receiving something that was promised – that was the last straw. I started applying for jobs last December and had an interview at my new job in January 2020. I got the job and handed in my notice.

WHAT A FEELING.

I am so glad that I left my previous job, I’m earning more money, I can work from home so I have a lot more time to myself and the team that I work with are amazing!

Fast forward to September. I sadly got made redundant. Now I know you’re thinking wow that sucks.

For most people yes. BUT I have been offered a retention contract until March 2021, after completing this I will receive a lovely payout and then I’ll be jetting off to travel the world.

Don’t get me wrong, at the time I was crying and worrying like mad, but it really did work out for the best.

Giving my blog a real go

If you know me, you’ll know I’ve been blogging on and off for years. Starting up a site, writing for a few months and then I back out because I’m too scared and not willing to commit to it.

In May 2020, I was BORED. Of course lockdown but I was still working from home. I felt like I didn’t have an outlet or anything to do. I decided to give my blog one last chance.

It motivated me more knowing that everyone thought I would give it up.

I watched every Youtube video on blogging, WordPress and Pinterest and I got my site up and running. It’s been six months and I can’t imagine my life without it.

I blog every single day.

I have fallen in love with the blogger and Social media world.

When I started my blog with around 10 readers a month and I’m now hitting around 1500 a month. This isn’t a crazy gain, but I’m still working full time at my job. I’m extremely proud of how much I’ve built in the last 6 months.

I now have collaboration opportunities along with meeting some amazing bloggers from around the world.

Moving back home

At 22, making the decision to move back home with three younger siblings under the age of 13 wasn’t easy. Also, adding Lyle into the mix.

We moved back home in April of this year to save for travelling. With our flat expenses, it wasn’t possible to travel next year and not have to work – which is what we want to do.

Our parents have been a great help in helping us save and letting us move back in. We currently live with my mum and siblings. It’s been amazing getting to spend time with them because I don’t know when I’ll be back next year if we come back.

The best thing about moving back is the hot dinners made for me every night.

My mum is a great cook, and getting homemade meals every night has been the ultimate pro to moving back home.

Deciding to go travelling

As I mentioned above, Lyle and I are going travelling next year. I have never gone anywhere for longer than ten days. So to have made the decision to travel has been a big step.

We are just finalising our plans. Of course, due to COVID, they have changed a lot, but we are still looking to fly on the 31st of March 2021.

We will be starting off in Asia and then heading off to Lyle’s family in Australia once the borders are opened.

Regardless of what is going on, I am extremely excited to be going travelling!

Going Sober and my mental health

I don’t like to shy away from mental health. I think the more we speak about it and normalise it – it makes it easier for people to reach out. Just my personal thought.

This is an important point that I wanted to touch in regards to my birthday reflections as I really was in a different place when I was drinking.

I was drinking every weekend because it was fun. I loved it because then I didn’t feel anxious. Fast forward to the Sunday to Friday, I felt anxious and rubbish.

Then repeat the cycle.

I was living my life for the weekend, and it’s a horrible way to live.

I stopped drinking on the 16th of August and I’ve not any since. This was difficult so I’m extremely proud of myself. I missed the social aspect at first but found out very quickly people were only my friend because I was there. AKA not having to make an effort.

I now spend my week working and blogging and I don’t dread a Monday morning anymore.

Setting Goals for my 23rd year

As it approaches my 23rd birthday, I would like to set myself some birthday goals to ensure that 2021 is bigger and better than any year before.

Goals for my 23rd year - my birthday goals

Birthday Reflections

Over the last year, I’ve really done a 180. I’m still learning, of course, but I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere.

I’m grateful to all my friends and family who have stuck by me over the last few years, it’s been difficult – but I’m ready for the challenge!

What are your birthday reflections?

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